Climategate 2.0: Mann works with Environmental Defense Fund to edit, place op-ed

EDF is the PR firm for Climategaters.

From the Climategate 2.0 collection, Apparently at the request of the Environmental Defense Fund, Michael Mann drafts an op-ed in response to an op-ed in USA Today by Nick Schulz (TechCentralStation.com). Mann send his draft to Environmental Defense Fund lawyer Annie Petsonk for review and placement:

…Before midnight as promised ๐Ÿ™‚
here is a rough draft of an op-ed. Any help I can get from you or any associates of yours in refining this and getting this published will be very helpful. I can work on co-authors tomorrow morning. iPerhaps we can send something similar on to other newswire journalists such as Joan Lowey, etc…

Mann goes on to recruit Phil Jones as a co-signer as well possibly Keith Briffa and Tim Osborn. Jones chimes in with:

Need to fully cover any accusations of making the mistake deliberately.

Don’t worry Phil. We’re sure EDF took care of that.

Read the e-mail exchange below.

Attachment Converted: “c:eudoraattachwinmail64.dat”
date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 08:05:09 -0500
from: “Michael E. Mann”
subject: Re: Fwd: draft
to: Phil Jones

, “raymond s. bradley” ,
mhughes@ltrr.arizona.edu, jto@u.arizona.edu, tom crowley ,
k.briffa@uea.ac.uk, t.osborn@uea.ac.uk, crowley@duke.edu
Dear All,
Particularly the British among us–what’s the latest you guys will have access to email
today (Eastern Standard Time US please, since my brain is not working quick as well
after
all the sleep deprivation). I’m going to try to work w/ Annie Petsonk at EDF to
incorporate their suggestions w/ those you guys have provided, but we’ll probably need
to
finalize this and confirm authors by early afternoon east coast U.S. time…
Will keep you posted of any developments as they occur.
Thanks for all the wonderful advice, and your critical support at this particular time,
mike
At 09:16 AM 10/29/2003 +0000, Phil Jones wrote:
Mike,
I’m happy to sign up for this and Keith and Tim may like to as well, so cc’ing this
reply
to them as well. I’m off this afternoon to Newcastle so will be out of contact till I
get there.
I will have a chance to check email tomorrow am.
Here are a few thoughts in the meantime:
1. Text needs a little fine tuning as Malcolm says and getting in dates of emails etc
between
you, Scott and them would be good. I doubt that such details will make it into the
final piece,
but they are useful background evidence.
2. I would really have a go at Schulz’s second sentence — ‘If it withstands scrutiny
…..’
This is what the whole peer-review process is about and E&E have clearly failed to get
the
paper adequately reviewed. Papers do get scrutinized after publication, but this is
almost always
about the interpretation of results, not simple methodological flaws or clear mistakes.
Perhaps, something like, The authors did not seem to stop to think why their results
were
so different from MBH. Any respectable scientists attempting to repeat or reanalyze
earlier
work would want to fully understand why the results were different. Any scientist
wanting to
publish such differences would want to check, double-even-triple check their results.
The
study here seems to have accepted the results, possibly because they appear at first
glance
to be the results they wanted. They should have stopped to think why they were so
different, especially as several other groups have obtained essentially the same basic
results
as MBH, with different proxy networks and different methods of combining the results.
Also, would the authors have published the results if the ‘random’ data had showed
the
opposite result. I guess it could have by chance, but I suspect they would have been
more
cautious as the result did not agree with their preconceptions.
3. Related to the above there is the fact that their results just don’t look right. I
always say
that data analysts need to have a feel for the data. Here, the result just looks plain
wrong.
I try to drum this into my students and post-docs – saying go back and find the
mistake,
the results aren’t right !
4. Also need to cover the issue of Scott’s inadvertent mistake. I’ve no idea how to do
anything
in Excel – except get any data out of it ! I’m told it is quite difficult to write out
data in excel
spreadsheet format. Back to the post-grads – they often come and say ‘Excel can’t do
it’ to
which I retort then program the method from scratch in Fortran. I may be a dinosaur in
this
respect, but this helps understand the technique being used, as you have to go
through
it
step by step.
Need to fully cover any accusations of making the mistake deliberately.
Anyway, have a few other things to do before going off at 11
Cheers
Phil
At 00:10 29/10/2003 -0500, Michael E. Mann wrote:
oops, my draft op-ed was pasted at the end of that previous email. here it is up front,
mike
DRAFT REPLY TO USA TODAY OPINION PIECE
The opinion piece “Researchers question key global-warming study” published in USA
Today
by Nick Schulz, describes a deeply flawed article published in a discredited journal
“Energy and Environment” by two individuals with no scientific expertise. The article
is deceptive on multiple accounts.
It was not revealed that TechCentralStation.com, the website that the author Nick
Shultz
edits, receives considerable funding from Exxon-Mobile–this makes Schulz hardly
disinterested matter in discussions of human-induced climate change and climate
change
policy.
Schulz makes the blatantly false claim: Mann never made his data available online nor
did many of the earlier researchers whose data Mann relied upon for his research. That
by itself raises questions about the U.N. climate-change panel’s scientific process.
The data used by Mann and colleagues have been in the public domain for nearly two
years, at the readily accessible website: [1]ftp://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/pub/MBH98/
Had the authors of the study in question used the publicly available data provided by
Mann and colleagues, they would have reproduced their overall results, and those of
numerous other paleoclimatologists who have produced statistically indistinguishable
results to those of Mann and colleagues. Instead, the authors requested from an
associate of Mann and coworkers a specially formatted, spreadsheet version of the
data
set. There appear to have been some significant errors in that version of the dataset.
Even though the authors detected some problems, they did not contact the associate
who
sent them the data to inquire about them. The spreadsheet version inadvertently
appears
to have overprinted much of the early data, rending the proxy data set prior to about
1600 erroneous. It is the use of the incorrect early values in the proxy series that
lead to the wide divergence of the authors estimates from nearly all previously
published estimates during the 15th and 16th centuries. The anomalous warmth they
claim
to reconstruct in those centuries is nothing more than an artifact of their having used
scrambled early data in place of the correct data.
There are other more minor sources of error. The authors misapplied the methodology
of
Mann et al by convoluting their previous estimated temperature patterns from one
dataset
with an inconsistent set of temperature estimates from an entirely different dataset.
However, it is the use of scrambled estimates of the proxy data that is responsible for
the huge errors in their estimates during the 15th-16th centuries.
Had this paper been submitted to reputable scientific journal, such as Nature (where
the
original paper by Mann and colleagues was published) or Science, where high quality
paleoclimatic work has often been published, the deep flaws would have quickly been
uncovered in their method. Instead, the authors published their article in a social
science journal, “Energy and Environment”, with questionable editorial practices (as
detailed in an article last September in the Chronicle of Higher Education).
The journal “Energy and Environment” if it has any editorial integrity, will demand a
retraction of the paper by McKitrick and McIntyre’s, as the results presented are
entirely spurious, and the conclusions wholly without merit.
The assertion in dozens of more mainstream, scientific publications that late 20th
century Northern Hemisphere average warmth is unprecedented not only in the past
six
centuries (as shown by Mann and colleagues in 1998), but at least the past millennium
or
longer is the conclusion of more than a dozen independent studies published in
reputable
scientific journals over the past several years and this latest deeply flawed study does
nothing whatsoever to change those conclusions.
At 12:03 AM 10/29/2003 -0500, Michael E. Mann wrote:
I know how sick you guys are of this routine by now. hopefully, this is the last time.
EDF wants to try to help me get a response to the USA Today opinion piece by Nick
Schulz
into tomorrows edition. She thinks we could use several co-authors from the paleo
community, and Steve S thinks they’ll have to print it, because Schulz completely lied
about us supposedly not having provided our data in the public domain (they’ve been
on a
public website on our machine holocene since March ’02 according to the dates on the
files)…
We need to finalize this by tomorrow afternoon.
Can I get any/all of you to sign on w/ me. We’ll work on revising and finalizing
tomorrow morning/afternoon.
let me know. thanks,
mike
p.s. the op-ed piece is pasted in below:
Researchers question key global-warming study
By Nick Schulz
An important new paper in the journal Energy & Environment upsets a key scientific
claim
about climate change. If it withstands scrutiny, the collective scientific understanding
of recent global warming might need an overhaul.
A little background is needed to understand the importance of the new research behind
this paper by Stephen McIntyre, a statistics expert who works in the mining industry,
and Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph, Ontario. As
scientists and governments have tried to understand mankind’s influence on the
environment, global warming has become a primary concern. Do mankind’s activities
especially burning fossil fuels to create energy affect climate? If so, how? What should
be done?
These questions were so important that in 1988 the United Nations, along with the
World
Meteorological Organization, formed the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change
(IPCC) to study “human-induced climate change.”
Ten years after IPCC’s founding, a paper from Michael Mann, now an assistant
professor
of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, and his colleagues in the
journal Nature shook scientific and political circles. It reconstructed temperatures
dating back to the year 1400 by looking at tree rings, ice cores and other so-called
proxy records to derive a temperature signature. This was before the sophisticated
climate-measuring equipment we use today.
What Mann claimed to find was startling: The late-20th century was unusually warm
warmer
than at any time in the previous six centuries. (Later research by Mann extended the
climate history back 1,000 years.) The reason? “It really looks like (the recent
warming) can only be explained by greenhouse gases,” Mann said then. His clear
implication: The Earth’s climate was changing dramatically, and mankind was
responsible.
Earth heats up?
The U.N. used Mann’s research to declare the 1990s “the warmest decade and 1998
the
warmest year of the millennium.” Countless news stories picked up on this idea that the
past few years have been unusually warm.
Efforts to limit the emission of the greenhouse gases blamed for this warming were
bolstered by Mann’s research. In fact, this week the Senate plans to consider
legislation co-sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn.,
to
reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. McCain’s Web site says, “Global warming is
a
growing problem. … The 10 warmest years (on record) have all occurred since 1987.”
The
statement is based on Mann’s research.
But what if it’s not true?
When McIntyre and McKitrick audited Mann’s data to see whether its conclusions could
be
replicated, they discovered significant problems. Once they corrected the errors, the
two researchers made a remarkable conclusion: The late 20th century was not
unusually
warm by historical standards.
Not alone in his conclusion
When asked about the paper, which had undergone review by other scientists before
being
published, Mann said he had heard about it but had not seen it. He called it a
“political stunt” and said “dozens of independent studies published by leading journals”
had come to conclusions similar to his.
What’s to guarantee McKitrick and McIntyre’s research will withstand the kind of
scrutiny they gave Mann’s research?
In an interview, McKitrick said, “If a study is going to be the basis for a major policy
decision, then the original data must be disseminated and the results have to be
reproducible. That’s why in our case we have posted everything online and invite
outside
scrutiny.”
Mann never made his data available online nor did many of the earlier researchers
whose
data Mann relied upon for his research. That by itself raises questions about the U.N.
climate-change panel’s scientific process.
It remains to be seen whether the McKitrick and McIntyre study will withstand the
“outside scrutiny” they have asked for and will no doubt receive. But given the
implications of the errors and problems they apparently have unearthed within the
Mann
study, the two researchers have done a tremendous service to science and the public,
which should rely on facts to make informed public policy decisions.
Nick Schulz is editor of TechCentralStation.com, a science, technology and public
policy
Web site.
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 23:58:21 -0500
To: Annie_Petsonk@environmentaldefense.org
From: “Michael E. Mann”
Subject: draft
Cc: mann@virginia.edu
Before midnight as promised ๐Ÿ™‚
here is a rough draft of an op-ed. Any help I can get from you or any associates of
yours in refining this and getting this published will be very helpful.
I can work on co-authors tomorrow morning. iPerhaps we can send something similar
on to
other newswire journalists such as Joan Lowey, etc…
DRAFT REPLY TO USA TODAY OPINION PIECE
The opinion piece “Researchers question key global-warming study” published in USA
Today
by Nick Schulz, describes a deeply flawed article published in a discredited journal
“Energy and Environment” by two individuals with no scientific expertise. The article
is deceptive on multiple accounts.
It was not revealed that TechCentralStation.com, the website that the author Nick
Shultz
edits, receives considerable funding from Exxon-Mobile–this makes Schulz hardly
disinterested matter in discussions of human-induced climate change and climate
change
policy.
Schulz makes the blatantly false claim: Mann never made his data available online nor
did many of the earlier researchers whose data Mann relied upon for his research. That
by itself raises questions about the U.N. climate-change panel’s scientific process.
The data used by Mann and colleagues have been in the public domain for nearly two
years, at the readily accessible website: [2]ftp://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/pub/MBH98/
Had the authors of the study in question used the publicly available data provided by
Mann and colleagues, they would have reproduced their overall results, and those of
numerous other paleoclimatologists who have produced statistically indistinguishable
results to those of Mann and colleagues. Instead, the authors requested from an
associate of Mann and coworkers a specially formatted, spreadsheet version of the
data
set. There appear to have been some significant errors in that version of the dataset.
Even though the authors detected some problems, they did not contact the associate
who
sent them the data to inquire about them. The spreadsheet version inadvertently
appears
to have overprinted much of the early data, rending the proxy data set prior to about
1600 erroneous. It is the use of the incorrect early values in the proxy series that
lead to the wide divergence of the authors estimates from nearly all previously
published estimates during the 15th and 16th centuries. The anomalous warmth they
claim
to reconstruct in those centuries is nothing more than an artifact of their having used
scrambled early data in place of the correct data.
There are other more minor sources of error. The authors misapplied the methodology
of
Mann et al by convoluting their previous estimated temperature patterns from one
dataset
with an inconsistent set of temperature estimates from an entirely different dataset.
However, it is the use of scrambled estimates of the proxy data that is responsible for
the huge errors in their estimates during the 15th-16th centuries.
Had this paper been submitted to reputable scientific journal, such as Nature (where
the
original paper by Mann and colleagues was published) or Science, where high quality
paleoclimatic work has often been published, the deep flaws would have quickly been
uncovered in their method. Instead, the authors published their article in a social
science journal, “Energy and Environment”, with questionable editorial practices (as
detailed in an article last September in the Chronicle of Higher Education).
The journal “Energy and Environment” if it has any editorial integrity, will demand a
retraction of the paper by McKitrick and McIntyre’s, as the results presented are
entirely spurious, and the conclusions wholly without merit.
The assertion in dozens of more mainstream, scientific publications that late 20th
century Northern Hemisphere average warmth is unprecedented not only in the past
six
centuries (as shown by Mann and colleagues in 1998), but at least the past millennium
or
longer is the conclusion of more than a dozen independent studies published in
reputable
scientific journals over the past several years and this latest deeply flawed study does
nothing whatsoever to change those conclusions.
Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
e-mail: mann@virginia.edu Phone: (434) 924-7770 FAX: (434) 982-2137
[3]http://www.evsc.virginia.edu/faculty/people/mann.shtml
______________________________________________________________
Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
_______________________________________________________________________
e-mail: mann@virginia.edu Phone: (434) 924-7770 FAX: (434) 982-2137
[4]http://www.evsc.virginia.edu/faculty/people/mann.shtml
______________________________________________________________
Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
_______________________________________________________________________
e-mail: mann@virginia.edu Phone: (434) 924-7770 FAX: (434) 982-2137
[5]http://www.evsc.virginia.edu/faculty/people/mann.shtml
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email p.jones@uea.ac.uk
NR4 7TJ
UK
—————————————————————————-
______________________________________________________________
Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
_______________________________________________________________________
e-mail: mann@virginia.edu Phone: (434) 924-7770 FAX: (434) 982-2137
[6]http://www.evsc.virginia.edu/faculty/people/mann.shtml